Sunday, March 27, 2011

And the Feeding Issues Begin!

An update from Kristin:

Well, they warned us that feeding issues were the most common post-surgical complication with the Norwood, but a part of me was secretly hoping that little Sam would be the first Norwood baby ever to sail through recovery without a single feeding problem. As you can probably see by the title of this blog, however, I was wrong.

Sam fussed through most of the night, and I just had a feeling that his little stomach was bothering him. Sure enough, first thing this morning he threw up some breastmilk along with his NG tube. Sam-style, he accomplished this right when the doctors were rounding and raving about how wonderfully he was doing. They had actually just finished discussing how he should be able to switch to oral feeding very soon, but once he threw up his NG tube, that plan was quickly replaced with a different one: give Sam an NG tube that goes directly into his intestines instead of just his stomach. They figured that the high-pressure air flow he has been receiving through his nose has been filling his stomach with air, and the NG tube has been filling his stomach with food, thus leading to a very grouchy and uncomfortable little fellow.

Nor did he enjoy having the NG tube shoved into intestines. In fact, he somehow managed to snort the entire thing out (all the way from his intestines--he's a determined little boy!), so when they reinserted it, they had to tape it down to his face very thoroughly.

Side note: Dr. Jaggers, Sam's brilliant heart surgeon and a man of few words, examined Sam's belly, looked at multiple charts and x-rays, and declared, "This boy has a gassy tummy." I guess as far as complications go, this one is pretty manageable.

Thankfully, the deeper NG tube has made him feel better, but it does set us back a little. His ticket out of here is feeding orally, and now he's a bit further away from that. When I asked the doctor how long she thought it would take to get him feeding orally, she pointed her finger at Sam and said, "He gets to decide. For some babies, it takes three days, and for others, it takes three weeks." The thought of three more weeks in the CICU made me panic slightly, so I decided to take a walk to Caribou Coffee and pretend to be a normal human for a little while. It was nice.

When I came back, our nurse decided that it was high time for Sam to be a normal human as well, so she gave him a bath, which you can see him deeply enjoying here:

...and dressed him in real clothes for the first time! He is officially no longer a nudist. Note the monkey feet:

Also, Sam had the pleasure of being held by several visitors on Saturday, and here are some pictures from their visits. If anyone else would like to come snuggle this little one, please come by. Enjoy!


  1. my favorite pics so far! he looks so adorable in his clothes! is that tyler? he's so tall! i am sure sam's feeding will become fabuloso in no time. xoxoxo hugs to u and all!

  2. Yea for real clothes!!! I LOVE the monkey feet...what a cute little man.

  3. Nice to see him in clothes! Hope his tummy feels better now. Can't believe it's been a week since the surgery - he remains one fabulouso, rockin'lion wolf.

  4. Tammi T. (mom to an HLHS boy)March 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM

    My boys wanted me to read your post to them as they looked at the pictures. They pray for so many CHD babies and children. I guess since our youngest is HLHS, it hits close to home for them and they have an affection of other little ones with CHD, (and so do I).

    I love the picture of you holding Samuel with your husband looking over your shoulder. The feeding issues can be frustrating. I'll be praying for Samuel to cooperate ;) so hopefully they won't be as complicated as it was for Daniel. (The good news is now Daniel has no problem eating ... matter-of-fact, he seems to be constantly eating ... maybe that will be Sam in a few years. :) )

    Love that Sam is able to wear real clothing. I look forward to seeing many more pictures with him dressed in adorable outfits.

  5. I know that fun socks/pjs with feet always make me feel better. That and the liberty to take a walk for coffee are both steps in the right direction. :) Here's hoping that Sam decides that he's ready to see his new room very soon!
    Thinking of all of you,
    P.S. I love that picture of the three of you.

  6. Wonderful picture of the three of you. Sam looks great, and no more CPAP?
    BIG HUG xo
    Sarah & Steve